Trust Your Gut!
What does it mean when your stomach growls?
During our recent Jump Start Program, Shelly from Texas shared that she hasn’t heard her stomach rumble for many months. After 3 days on the Jump Start, it rumbled. What changed? You may have heard me mention before that sugar can stay in your system for 3 days (72 hours). When you get your blood sugar balanced and organs nourished, your body is ready to release FAT and inflammation. So after 3 days she got her digestion working again. We are meant to have our stomach growl it means we have ignited the digestive fire.
Our digestive tract is the core of your body. If we don’t understand how it works then we get love handles and digestive symptoms. This is also where we process many emotions. Butterflies in our stomach when we are excited, and gut feelings.
Does looking at food make your mouth water?
Many times when we see or think about food, it can make our mouth water. This is the beginning of our digestive process.
The digestive glands that act first are in the mouth — the salivary glands. Saliva produced by these glands contains an enzyme that begins to digest the starch from food into smaller molecules. An enzyme is a substance that speeds up chemical reactions in the body. We tend to lose enzymes as we age, stress, and poor diets. Thoroughly chewing your food assists with the next step of the digestive process.
The next set of digestive glands is in the stomach lining. They produce stomach acid and an enzyme that digests protein. A thick mucus layer coats the mucosa and helps keep the acidic digestive juice from dissolving the tissue of the stomach itself. Most people tend to have a lower amount of stomach acid, thus heartburn is a side effect. You should not take antacids, however build up your stomach acid with: Lemon water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Digestive Enzymes, and proper food combining.
After the stomach empties the food and juice mixture into the small intestine. The pancreas produces a juice that contains a wide array of enzymes to break down the carbohydrate, fat, and protein in food. Other enzymes that are active in the process come from glands in the wall of the intestine.
The liver produces yet another digestive juice — bile. Bile is stored between meals in the gallbladder. At mealtime, it is squeezed out of the gallbladder, through the bile ducts, and into the intestine to mix with the fat in food. The bile acids dissolve fat into the watery contents of the intestine, much like detergents that dissolve grease from a frying pan. After fat is dissolved, it is digested by enzymes from the pancreas and the lining of the intestine.
Most digested molecules of food, as well as water and minerals, are absorbed through the small intestine. The mucosa of the small intestine contains many folds that are covered with tiny finger-like tissue called villi. In turn, the villi are covered with microscopic projections called microvilli. These structures create a vast surface area through which nutrients can be absorbed. Specialized cells allow absorbed materials to cross the mucosa into the blood, where they are carried off in the bloodstream to other parts of the body for storage or further chemical change. This part of the process varies with different types of nutrients.
The digestible carbohydrates — starch and sugar — are broken into simpler molecules by enzymes in the saliva, in juice produced by the pancreas, and in the lining of the small intestine. Starch is digested in two steps. First, an enzyme in the saliva and pancreatic juice breaks the starch into molecules called maltose. Then an enzyme in the lining of the small intestine splits the maltose into glucose molecules that can be absorbed into the blood. Glucose is carried through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is stored or used to provide energy for the work of the body. We only store a small amount of glycogen in the liver, and when you are full your body will take the glucose to the fat cells for storage space.
Foods such as meat, eggs, and beans consist of giant molecules of protein that must be digested by enzymes before they can be used to build and repair body tissues. An enzyme in the juice of the stomach starts the digestion of protein. Then in the small intestine, several enzymes from the pancreatic juice and the lining of the intestine complete the breakdown of huge protein molecules into small molecules called amino acids. These small molecules can be absorbed through the small intestine into the blood and then be carried to all parts of the body to build the walls and other parts of cells.
Fat molecules are a rich source of energy for the body. The first step in digestion of a fat such as butter is to dissolve it into the watery content of the intestine. The bile acids produced by the liver dissolve fat into tiny droplets and allow pancreatic and intestinal enzymes to break the large fat molecules into smaller ones. Some of these small molecules are fatty acids and cholesterol. The bile acids combine with the fatty acids and cholesterol and help these molecules move into the cells of the mucosa. In these cells the small molecules are formed back into large ones, most of which pass into vessels called lymphatics near the intestine. These small vessels carry the reformed fat to the veins of the chest, and the blood carries the fat to storage depots in different parts of the body.
Another vital part of food that is absorbed through the small intestine are vitamins. The two types of vitamins are classified by the fluid in which they can be dissolved: water-soluble vitamins (all the B vitamins and vitamin C) and fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K). Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissue of the body, whereas water-soluble vitamins are not easily stored and excess amounts are flushed out in the urine.
Several factors affect emptying of the stomach, including the kind of food and the degree of muscle action of the emptying stomach and the small intestine. Carbohydrates, for example, spend the least amount of time in the stomach, while protein stays in the stomach longer, and fats the longest. As the food dissolves into the juices from the pancreas, liver, and intestine, the contents of the intestine are mixed and pushed forward to allow further digestion. A healthy digestive process takes anywhere from 6-8 hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine. Then research shows a total of 16-48 hours to complete through the large intestine.
Finally, the digested nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal walls and transported throughout the body. The waste products of this process include undigested parts of the food, known as fiber, and older cells that have been shed from the mucosa. These materials are pushed into the colon, where they remain until the feces are expelled by a bowel movement.
Heaps of symptoms occur when you have a poorly functioning digestive tract.
- Low Energy & Headaches
- Acne, Dry Skin & Cellulite
- Weight around your abdomen, and abdominal bloating
- Constipation, Diarrhea, IBS, Heartburn
- Depression & Unpleasant mood changes
- High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease
- Arthritis, Joint & Muscle Pain, Osteoporosis
- Allergic Reactions
- Foggy Brain & lack of concentration
- Unstable Blood Sugar
- Circles under the eyes
- Coated tongue
- Yellow in the whites of your eyes
- Bad Breath
- Gallstones, High Triglycerides
- Excessive body heat
Get your digestive tract back on track!
The Conscious Nutrition Program and food tree focus on food combining principles that assist your body in becoming alkaline, balanced, and working effectively.
- When you eat proteins like poultry, fish, meat, and eggs, your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin to break down the food in a highly acidic environment. When you eat starches like potatoes or bread, your stomach secretes an enzyme to create an alkaline condition.
- If you eat proteins and starches together, they tend to neutralize each other and inhibit digestion. The poorly-digested food travels through the digestive tract reaching the intestines where it putrefies and causes your blood to become acidic. It also provides a welcome environment for disease-causing pathogens!
Practice separating your protein and starches at meal times. Combine each one separately with vegetables and healthy fats. Pay attention to how your body feels 30 minutes after meals. If you don’t have mental fatigue, bloating or sugar cravings, you did it! This is how you are suppose to feel.